I was a Conservative Member of the European Parliament for Yorkshire & the Humber from 1999-2016 having previously served as MP for Leeds North East 1987-97 and as a Government Whip and Home Office Minister in that period. All this time, it has been a pleasure and honour to represent my constituents in Brussels and in Westminster.
As you may be aware, I was elevated to the peerage by David Cameron in his resignation honours list in the Autumn of 2016 . As such, I was required to retire as an MEP to take up my seat in the House of Lords. Since then I have continued to take an active interest in Yorkshire regional affairs and from July 2019 I act as the co-chair of the "One Yorkshire" devolution APPG at Westminster.
I serve on the House of Lords EU select sub-committee on Justice and Home Affairs continuing my interest, as a Lawyer, in this important field of Policy. Recently, as a Member of the APPG on General Aviation, I chaired an Inquiry into UK Lower Airspace which reported in the early Summer. I make a lot of interventions in House of Lords debates and regularly take part in Question Time.
Whilst in the European Parliament, Timothy was the ECR Co-ordinator and the Conservative spokesman for the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee. He was also on the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with the United States and is a substitute on the Transport Committee.
Timothy is passionate about regional issues such as the protection of rural communities. His support for the development of Leeds-Bradford International Airport is well known, especially his significant role whilst MP for Leeds North East in obtaining 24 hours operating status for this vital and strategic part of the Yorkshire region’s infrastructure. He was also keen as a Regional MEP to ensure European Funds were made available to support businesses and rural communities and farmers and to tackle issues like flooding and the region’s coastal defenses.
Timothy was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne and educated at the Royal Grammar School in the city. He attended the Law Society's College of Law at Guildford in Surrey before he qualified as a solicitor and within a year had set up his own practice. Later he was a senior partner at a leading commercial law practice in Newcastle upon Tyne. He still holds a practising certificate.
Timothy took an interest in politics from a young age and joined the Young Conservatives (now known as Conservative Future) at the age of 15. He became a Branch Chairman, a Constituency Chairman, an Area Officer and was a member of the National YC committee over the following 10 years. He fought two Parliamentary campaigns in Durham in February 1974 and then in Darlington in 1979 where he narrowly failed to beat the sitting Labour MP. He became a County Councillor in Northumberland in 1982, and a founder Mental Health Act Commissioner in 1983 whilst serving on the Northern Regional Health Authority, and then Candidate for the Leeds North East constituency when Sir Keith Joseph retired. He won the seat and held it for 10 years. During his Westminster career he was a Parliamentary Private Secretary, a Whip (for 5 years), and then Minister at the Home Office for Immigration, Borders, Licensing, gambling, etc etc between 1995 and 1997.
He lost his seat at Westminster in the 1997 Election but was able to obtain selection as Conservative candidate for the European Election in 1999 for Yorkshire and The Humber and was duly elected as MEP that year. He served nearly four terms as MEP for his Region.
When not working on the political front, he relaxes with his wife and friends in Yorkshire driving his old Porsche or Bentley (he was a founder Member of the House of Commons Classic Car Club and is a member of both the Porsche Owners Club and the Bentley Drivers Club) or uses his piloting skills flying light aircraft. He swims regularly, enjoys playing tennis, and tries to play golf when he can find the time at his Golf Club in Northumberland.
Now here is a summary of some of the political offices and roles Timothy has held during his career:
1970 - He stood for an unwinnable Northumberland County council seat.
1974 - (Feb). Timothy fought his first Parliamentary campaign for Durham and Sedgefield.
1975 - He was selected as Parliamentary Candidate in the marginal seat of Darlington.
1979 - Narrowly missed success at the Election in Darlington by only 1000 votes.
1982 - Elected to the Northumberland County Council for his home ward of Bywell.
1983 - 1986 Founder Lawyer Member on appointment to the new Mental Health Act Commission.
1983 - Appointed as a Member of the Northern Regional Health Authority.
1983 - 1986 - On the Board of Newcastle International Airport.
1983 - Learnt to fly and obtained his Private Pilot's Licence
1987 - Elected MP for Leeds North East.
1988 - Successfully Took his own Private Members' Bill through Parliament ( The Parking Act)
1989 - Became a Parliamentary Private Secretary to Rt Hon David Trippier MP, the then Environment Minister.
1990 - Joined the Government Whips' Office whilst Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister.
1992 - Became a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury and Senior Whip.
1995 - Became Vice-Chamberlain of the Royal Household (her Majesty the Queen's link to the House of Commons).
1995 - Moved to the Home Office as Under-Secretary of State responsible for Immigration, Race and Community Relations, Licensing and Gambling, and International Police issues.
1990 - 1998 - The Deputy Chairman of the Governing Bodies' Association for Independent Schools (having been Governor at his old school the Royal Grammar School Newcastle upon Tyne for many years).
1997- Lost his Westminster seat to a Labour candidate
1999- Elected as an MEP
2003 - Convened an independent Commission on asylum and published a report entitled 'Building a Fair Asylum System'. Convened a similar Commission on Immigration the following year.
2004 - Was re-elected to represent Yorkshire and the Humber.
2004 - Elected as the first European Democrat Vice-President of the EPP-ED political group.
2004 - 2007 and again in 2009-2011 - Leader of the Conservative Party in the European Parliament.
2009 - Was re-elected to represent Yorkshire and the Humber.
2009 - Deputy Chairman of the newly formed European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) having founded the Group and taken his colleagues to it.
2009-2014 Conservative spokesman on Justice and Home Affairs and member of the Parliament's US delegation
2014 - Was re-elected to represent Yorkshire and the Humber
2014 - Re-appointed as Conservative spokesman and ECR Group co-ordinator on the Justice and Home Affairs Committee
2015 - The Kirkhope report on Passenger Name Records (part of the European Anti-terrorist legislation) is presented.
2016 - Elevated to the peerage by David Cameron and became Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate.
2019 - Chaired the Lord Kirkhope Inquiry on Lower Airspace for the APPG on General Aviation